Tectonics and Slumping in the Source Region of the 1998 Papua New Guinea Tsunami from Seismic Reflection Images
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— In September 1999, we collected seven high resolution seismic reflection profiles along the northern continental margin of Papua New Guinea, which targeted the source region of the 1998 tsunami that inundated Sissano Lagoon. We utilized swath bathymetry collected by the JAMSTEC/SOPAC groups in January 1999. The seismic profiles image several faults, bottom simulating reflectors, and a large rotational slump. The slump has a head scarp of 100 m vertical extent, coinciding with the headwall and tension cracks observed previously by submersible at the southern edge of the amphitheater. The central, back-rotated part of the slump is coherent with parallel reflections. The interpreted basal failure plane has a maximum depth of 760 m below the seafloor, and it crops out at a steep escarpment, about 100 meters high, located 4.5 km north of the head scarp. This escarpment separates the slide toe from a series of seafloor-parallel, coherent reflections that are top-lapped by basin deposits at the foot of the amphitheater to the north. The cross-sectional area of the displaced mass is 2.3 km2. From the bathymetry, the width is approximately 2.5–3 km, yielding a total volume (assuming parabolic shape) of 3.8–4.6 km3. Based on these interpretations, the slump was restored to its undeformed position. This technique yields a center of mass vertical drop of 380 m, horizontal movement of 840 m and slip of 980 m along the slide plane.
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